With a large music industry such as Japan has, the second largest in the world, it is inevitable that music fans will be inundated with a profusion of good (and also less good) music from this country. It is impossible to keep track of this and write a review about it per video. But to avoid missing out on gems, it is time for a weekly list of new music videos from lesser-known Japanese musical acts that are definitely worth watching.
We are now looking back on a couple of videos that were released in week 13 of the year 2022. Enjoy the new discoveries!
azur taupe. – 発展都市 (Hatten Toshi)
Fukuoka-based shoegaze-dream pop inspired rock band azur taupe. recently released their second single, inspired by the endless expansion of society and which is distinctly guitar-heavy than their first single in 2019, Endless Drop City, which was more synth-heavy. It clearly illustrates that the three-piece band has taken the time to perfect their sound. To date, the alternative rock band has released two singles and an EP, hopefully, an album will be on the horizon soon. — Recommended by Francisca
500.000.000YEN – スペシャル (Special)
In a few days, 500.000.000YEN, the solo project of vocalist Kyoko, will release their third mini-album, titled Hi Hi Hi, almost three years after the release of the second mini-album by the band. After Kyoko’s previous band Scars Borough went on a hiatus in 2016, the vocalist was looking where the next step would be taken. When she found the answer ‘there is always potential’, 500.000.000YEN got formed with support musicians with that theme in mind. — Recommended by Francisca
DEATHRO – 恋愛EVOLUTION (Love Evolution)
Rock musician DEATHRO started his solo career in 2016 after being involved in several hardcore punk bands. He is characterised by his ‘ORIGINAL KEN-O STYLE’, which gets described as a Japanese rock style that represents his passion for his hometown in central Kanagawa Prefecture. Last year, he released his best-of album to celebrate his 5th anniversary as a solo musician. — Recommended by Francisca
The Spanky Muds – gold
The Spanky Muds got formed in 2015 when the band members were still high school classmates. Influenced by a wide range of music genres such as punk rock, 80s Japanese pop, garage rock and even folk songs, the three-piece puts out music that can be recognised as rock and roll. This music video is a time-lapse video that was recorded in the winter of 2021, for a total of 50 hours but is played back at about 850 times the speed of the original. — Recommended by Francisca
Shiki – たからのもり (Takara no Mori)
Based in Kumamoto, Shiki got formed in 2017 by three musicians, each of whom has been active in other bands. Combined, they create a softly mysterious sound without drums that plays with genres such as shoegaze, city pop, dance and hip-hop, among others. This song got created when the musicians were on a workcation in the town of Takamori, painter Takeshi Matsunaga was also part of this project and created the jacket for the song. — Recommended by Francisca
nayuta – Sunshine Warp
The three-piece nayuta will release its first analogue record since its formation in 2003, titled ripeto. The Osaka-based band has been active in the alternative rock scene in Japan and overseas. In the last few years, the band went through member changes and shifted their style to a more musical direction. With elements that at one moment seem to go in all directions and at the next just seem to stick to a fixed genre. Although that may be an illusion. — Recommended by Francisca
Nekojarashi – bad ending
Behind Nekojarashi are composer Siyu and support vocalist Kyrieley, together they have released several singles since the music project began in 2020. Nekojarashi’s concept is introspective rock that expresses the process of life’s quest, which is accompanied by the roaring sound in which the genes of metalcore and djent resonate. Everything they create is done remotely via the internet from writing lyrics to completing them. — Recommended by Francisca
Next week we will be back for a new list of new music videos to check out. But you can also look back to the earlier editions of this weekly article series for when you yearn for more musical gems! Want to read more about how this project started or check out the YouTube playlists? Click here for all the information.